First-home owners’ grant stays the same without the boost sought by the REIA

First-home owners’ grant stays the same without the boost sought by the REIA

By Jonathan Chancellor
Tuesday, 08 May 2012

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) failed in its desire for the federal government to enhance the first-home buyers’ scheme to stimulate the housing market.

“One of the most effective housing policy instruments in assisting first home buyers is the first-home owners’ grant, but it has been allowed to lose more than half its value relative to purchase prices since it was introduced in 2000,” REIA president Pamela Bennett said before the budget. When the FHOG was introduced in July 2000 the median house price across Australia was $220,443. It is now about $521,230.

The REIA noted first-home buyers had been cautious during 2012, with the number of first-home buyers as a percentage of total owner occupied housing commitments decreasing to 17.2% – down from the long-term average of 20.2%.

The REIA is urging the government to review the amount currently provided.

Bennett suggests with more than two-thirds of first-home buyers preferring established housing, it is essential the scheme continued to apply equally to buyers of new and established homes.

The REIA 2012 pre-budget submission also sought:

  • No Capital Gains Taxes (CGT) on the family home.
  • No increase in CGT on property investments.
  • Removal of stamp duty on property transactions.
  • Retention of current arrangements for negative gearing of property investments.
  • The implementation of a scheme to allow first home buyers access to their superannuation for the purchase of a home.
  • Monitoring of the Housing Affordability Fund (HAF) and National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) to observe its effects on housing supply and to conduct a review which considers additional measures to bridge the demand – supply imbalance.
  • Ensuring that the National Housing Supply publishes its State of Supply Report in a timely manner.
  • The appointment of a National Small Business Commissioner.


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